'I'm costing the ambulance and police service money but I'm left with no other choice'

Andy Horner, who often goes by Anxious Andy online
Andy Horner, who often goes by Anxious Andy online -Credit:Andy Horner

A Huddersfield man has been left waiting months for a therapy appointment despite struggling with his mental health for years.

Andy Horner, 48, who goes by the name of 'Anxious Andy' online, has been undergoing treatment for his mental health problems at Folly Hall Mills in Huddersfield for years. Now, he has been told he needs a specific therapy - Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for his Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).

However, Andy, from Shepley, has now been waiting for 12 months for the therapy to begin and has been struggling with his condition while he waits.

Read More: 'My mother was shot in cold blood on my fourth birthday - you robbed me of a future with her'

Over the past few months, Andy has overdosed multiple times and has attempted suicide, each time ending up in A&E. He often rings the crisis team but he is often told to go to A&E - something he finds hard to do while battling his suicidal thoughts.

He said: "I'm literally left to have overdoses. They'll bring me in and they'll just tell me that there's a therapy that you need to be on but, as you know, because of the mental health cuts and things like that, I can't get that therapy."

Andy Horner
Andy Horner -Credit:Andy Horner

Andy is also not sure how long he will have to wait for the therapy as there are a lot of considerations before he is able to begin. He said: "It just depends when a place comes up. It all depends whether you're ready for that therapy.

"There are so many loopholes in whether you can have the therapy, whether you're ready for it, whether you can commit to it. There's a lot of work that goes into it, if your mind is not in a good place, are you going to go to therapy twice a week, which would mean that I have to miss work as well?"

This could impact Andy's livelihood as he needs to work shifts to earn money. As a result, Andy says he understands why a lot of people do not get help and carry on as they are.

Get all the latest and breaking Huddersfield news straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter here.

Andy hopes the government will put something into place for people like him. He added: "They [the government] need to put something in place for employers to give to people like me, because I'm costing the ambulance, I'm costing the police service.

"You're costing the hospitals, you're taking up the ambulances because if I ring the crisis team tonight and I say I'm suicidal, the first thing they'll do now, they won't send the police unless there's an immediate danger, what they'll do is they'll send an ambulance.

"Now, I'll take an ambulance up, the ambulance will come out to me, they'll then send me to A&E, the mental health team will see me and say go home and rest or see your GP because there's nothing we can do because you need therapy."

Due to his severe mental health problems, Andy was sectioned at one point, with the police breaking his door down. He describes the experience as "horrendous" and says he was first placed in a police cell and felt like a criminal, even though he should have been placed in a mental health suite.

Andy says the suite he was left in was "horrendous"
Andy says the suite he was left in was "horrendous" -Credit:Andy Horner

Eventually, he was placed in a suite which he describes as "disgusting" - which he says exacerbated his mental health issues. Andy said: "It was absolutely horrendous. It was a long night, over 24 hours.

"I was in there for a long time, just sat there, there's no compassion, you can't have relatives there so you're sat with police officers and it's just a horrendous situation. I can understand why people don't want to be sectioned because it's a horrendous ordeal to go through."

Despite this, Andy often makes use of social media to talk about his struggles on his page Anxious Andy. He added: "I'm lucky to be here and I mean, what saved me, if you like and this might sound really cheesy, is actually my social media.

"I find that strangers, because I can't talk about it to my family, I can't keep going over it and over it, so I find that talking to my followers online actually gives me more support."

On his Anxious Andy Facebook page, Andy has 1.2 million followers on the page where he shares his experiences. He added: "I've turned to social media for support because I believe that talking to sometimes strangers, who are not as close to you, has been my lifeline. I can't get the help from the NHS and it's just been easy for me, and it's kept me going."

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are unable to comment on individual cases. At our Trust we are committed to supporting people with their mental health needs as best we can, through the range of services available to us.

"This includes working with our service users to ensure they can access the most appropriate care for their needs, and at the right time."

Get all the latest and breaking news in Yorkshire by signing up to our newsletter here.